Grief: The Monkey in the Room

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If grief were an animal, what animal would it be and why?

A turkey vulture.

It’s a little ugly. It descends upon the body. What it does isn’t pretty, but eventually that energy is used for flight and anti bacterial bird sh*t.

Can you define grief?

I don’t think of it as an emotion. It’s a process.

The process of losing someone, and the good and bad things that come from that, many of which are emotions.

How have you learned to live with your grief:

I’m still learning, but I know one thing is true, crying is helpful.

Any kind of physical exertion, laughing, sweating, running outside when it’s cold.

And distraction, for when you don’t want to be in it.

I’m sure a lot of distraction you don’t consciously know you are doing.

Can you think of how grief has positively affected your life?

It gives you extra moments of being aware and appreciating.

When you appreciate life and others, in those moments when it’s there, you can feel both the good and the bad.

It can also be a motivator.

Sometimes you can refocus it and use it to work hard on something you like to do, a project, building a shed or digging a hole. I’m hoping I’ll be able to harness that.

Sometimes it’s more debilitating.

How do you manage when it’s debilitating?

Distractions.

But it’s what you do with them.

If you’re worrying, not eating, not sleeping, not taking care of yourself, that’s not engine for positive movement.

I’m also good at reminding myself it will pass.

It’s okay to feel it. I try to let myself feel it when it’s convenient, like when I’m alone and driving.

I will embrace it too. Sometimes I think of something sad to help it along.

It’s important to help it along.

Anger is a side effect of pushing the sadness aside. Drinking beer and punching cops could also be a side effect.

Why do you think we are here?

It has something to do with work.

I don’t know. Live your life.

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